The picture above is a screen grab from Google maps that I put on my Instagram in those early days which I titled ‘always watching’ – thought it was a funny little companion! One thing that came to mind was the poem ‘Westering Home’ by Bernard O’Donoghue.
Bernard O’Donoghue reads his poem ‘Westering Home’ from UCD Library on Vimeo.
A month or so after I first moved to London I’d come home to pick up my bike and some other bits and pieces as I moved in dribs and drabs over quite a protracted time (this process is still ongoing!). Anyway, I had decided to sail and rail from Dublin and my then housemate was on the same route back to Hackney.
Sitting on the train from Holyhead he read this poem, one of his favourites, and I had to give the passing Welsh countryside the hard glare as I looked out the window, jaw clenched, holding back the tears. In those early days leaving home was always so traumatic. Always tears, eternally in-between states of settling back here or there. Much less so now as I’ve made peace with being forever in-between, but I’d honestly say I think of these lines every time I’ve made tracks for Ireland since.